HCM CITY — Navibank missed the opportunity to qualify for the second round at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup after losing 2-1 to Malaysia's Kelantan in the fifth round of the group.
Navibank Sai Gon paid the price for a lapse of concentration in defence as Kelantan scored two goals within five minutes to win 2-1 despite trailing 1-0 throughout most of the match.
Edison Foncesca opened the scoring with a goal inside the box in the 35th minute after a brilliant effort from Luong Van Duoc Em.
But two goals in the second half from Indra Putra Bin Mahayuddin Mohamad Ghaddar helped Kelantan complete a unexpected comeback in a match that Navibank were in control of for much of the time.
"I am disappointed that the team could not continue scoring to qualify for the second round. The two goals came too quickly and there was too little time for our team to turn the match around," Navibank's coach Pham Cong Loc said.
"We do not have our best players up front as Quang Hai has been injured," Loc said.
Kelantan's Croatian coach Bojan Hodak said that Navibank played better than his team.
"Navibank were the better team today. We were very tired and had to play more defensive in the first half," Hodak said.
"We changed the game in the second half and committed more players up front. We improved the game but Indra Putra's goal changed it," he said. — VNS